From Islands to Icebergs

I was struck by the irony of my shopping cart at Big 5 yesterday – a snorkel set and Hot Chili’s thermal underwear.  And then I heard the sound of all my friend’s voices echoed in my head, “You should go see the polar bears before going to Turks & Caicos.”

But in true Billy Corgan fashion, I’m going to the Islands before I go to the Arctic.  Last night I saw Smashing Pumpkins perform and I was reminded that Billy Corgan is a walking “F you!” aka the ultimate rebel.  It seems like almost everything he does is a carefully calculated move to spite you.  At one point he was literally singing “nah, nah, nah, nah,” with an expression that let you know he was intentionally taunting you.  And yet, when you speak with him, he’s quite kind and has an angelic smile.  Not to blow his cover though – he does have that other side.  But I’m not going to Turks & Caicos out of spite, of course 😉

When my friend, Jen, told me she was essentially going to be out of town for 2 months, I asked where she was going.  “Blah blah, blah blah, Turks & Caicos, blah, and blah blah blah,” is what I heard – not because I wasn’t attentive, but because Turks & Caicos has been on my “list” of places to travel since I was a kid.  Jen works for a company that creates travel packages, or better classified as “experiences”.  So needless to say, I got a fantastic deal on this trip.  AND Jen is one of my most favorite people to travel with.  We’ve traveled to Vegas, Burning Man, and Bonnaroo together and always have an amazing time.

It was an offer I couldn’t pass up and the trip just happens to fall shortly before I head to the Arctic; much to the dismay of my well-intentioned friends who imagine a better itinerary would begin with freezing temperatures and end with tropical waters.  I’m not complaining though.  I’m very fortunate to be going on both trips; the order in which they occur is inconsequential.

The other thing that’s struck me recently is the anticipation of the state of our country when I return between the two trips.  I’ll be back in LA in time to vote, and then leaving again a week later.  That week in between Islands and Icebergs is going to be really interesting.  .  . Talk about climate change! It feels like the absolute perfect time to embark on the polar bear expedition and experience the impact of the way we live on the Arctic region.  

It’s been a while (by my standards) since I’ve traveled and I was reminded of some lessons this morning at the airport:


  • The only Starbucks that carry Cinnamon Scones are airport Starbucks
  • The only time I go to Starbucks is when I’m at the airport
  • I get hit on most frequently at airports
  • Maybe that’s because I’m most frequently in airports
  • Good news is when Hudson News carries the next book in the series you’re reading!
  • There are no coincidences – the guy who hit on me in Hudson News was wearing a t-shirt with the words “POLAR BEAR” printed in huge type on the back. 
  • It’s also no coincidence he arrived 2 weeks too early (this is the island vacation.  Polar bears are in November), so I ignored his advances
  • They now have wifi on airplanes.  Maybe that’s not new news, but again, it’s been a minute since I traveled last.
  • Do we really need wifi on airplanes?? Can we take a break from the internet for 6 hours? That’s usually the time I dedicate to cleaning up and replying to all my personal emails. Well, if I’m delayed replying to your email it’s because I’m playing Pathwords on Facebook during the flight instead.
  • Never underestimate how busy the airport will be at 7am on a Sunday!
  • The approved size of carry-on luggage seems to decrease by 15% every time I fly
  • The amount of room in the aisles and between the seats decreases by 20%
  • Much like you spend the first 30 minutes at the movies watching previews, you spend the first 40 minutes of the flight on the runway.


Initial attempt from the sky, using GoGo wifi for airplanes but that didn’t work,

Second attempt from Miami Int’l Airport, where you can walk around drinking beer, but internet didn’t work there either. 

Third attempt from my room in Turks… this is bound to work!




Billy Corgan, one of my favorite rebels.

Billy Corgan, one of my favorite rebels. Smashing Pumpkins at The Lot Oct 25



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